February Favorites - 2014

link love

February was darned cold here, with another stupid amount of snow falling, but given this is the third month of this ridiculous snow and cold, I guess it's not news anymore, but olds. I, for one, am damned sick of this.

Apparently, at least 22 people have died in the storms in February. :(

Also in February, something called the Superbowl happened; I had to Google to find out the Seahawks won for this post as I had ignored the whole thing. I am aware of it at all because the grocery ads push lots of snacky foods, as do many of the blogs I follow. Apparently, 111 million people watched it.

There was an Olympics in Russia, who won both the most overall medals and the most gold medals. The interesting bit to me were the protests against Russia's law forbidding talking about gay issues, objectionable both due to free speech issues and gay rights issues.

Some countries declined to participate in the opening ceremonies in protest, but America sent 3 openly gay athletes: Billie Jean King, Brian Boitano and Caitlin Cahow as their delegation. It's rare my country does something I'm so proud of.

Meanwhile, hubby's country got into the act by flying rainbow flags in lieu of the maple leaf at city halls across Canada to support their gay athletes.

The 50th anniversary of the "British invasion" (anniversary of the Beatles appearance on Ed Sullivan), which 60% of American TVs watched, was celebrated with a flurry of newspaper and magazine articles, and radio and television shows.

Sadly, Philip Seymour Hoffman died of an apparent heroin overdose this month.

Here, I have started gardening and have seedlings of multiple types of onions: Australian Brown, Southport Red Globe, Walla Walla and Evergreen White Bunching. Also started some broccoli (Umpqua), several cabbages (Early Jersey Wakefield, January King, Danish Ballhead), and leeks (Blue De Soliase), but no seedlings just yet. I find planting and caretaking seedlings keep the winter blues at bay.

I turned 52 and YOU didn't get me anything for my birthday! See how you are?

The roosters started crowing and the hens started laying. They are darned sick of the weather also and are being fed grain out-of-proportion to anything I've ever fed them before as there just is no free-ranging to be had.

my favorite posts
best stops on the information superhighway in February 2014
  from The Paleo Mom - is an exciting report of the first paper from Dr. Terry Wahl's clinical trial (she's the Ted talk you've seen, the doctor who cured herself from MS with diet). Her trial required participants to eat 9 cups of veggies per day and eschew gluten, dairy, eggs - and had surprisingly high compliance. Fatigue improved significantly. Ongoing trials are showing improvement in blood work for C-reactive protein, serum homocysteine, blood triglycerides as well as more subjective tests such as pain, walking speed and mental health.
  from Fresh Bites Daily - is an awesome recipe because it fits my lazy/easy philosophy of cooking. Basically, the bacon and cauliflower BOTH roast all at once in the same pan.
  from Numen - is a thoughtful essay about desperate people spending thousands on supplements of various sorts, trying to find what REALLY works. The business of herbal medicine, and the supplement industry in general, really needs to help these folks.
  from The Food Hunter's Guide to Cuisine - is a yummy concoction of baked eggplant (much easier than frying), a quick homemade sauce and ricotta all baked together lasagna-style.
  from Cooling Inflammation - explains why adding resistant starch to your diet does not fix gut population, if the right bugs have died off, you can't feed them! We need gardening, pets that dig in dirt, and sauerkraut in addition to the fibers that feed our microbiome to heal. Be sure to read the comments also - there's a lot of fascinating discussion on this blog.
  from Mindful Meals - includes both a review of the health benefits (with research about effects on heart health) as well as a handy roundup of pomegranate recipes.
  from Mark's Daily Apple - is a hilarious Onion-like spoof of weight loss products, some fake and some real. The trick is figuring out which is which before he tells you at the end as they ALL sound ridiculous.
  from Gnolls.org - is about the flexibility as the body switches from burning glucose as fuel to burning fatty acids. It appears fatty acid metabolism, specifically a dysfunction in mitochondria, precedes insulin resistance; we first lose the ability to burn fat effectively and then the ability to take up glucose. A lot more is covered in this presentation, which I can't summarize in a paragraph - just go read it.
  from Natural Family Today - Just like pharmaceutical patches, whatever we put on our skin or hair is absorbed into our bodies. A step to limiting toxin exposure is finding shampoo alternatives, such as the no poo method and the other 4 suggestions in this article.
  from The Contrary Farmer - is an interesting viewpoint from a farmer's perspective, most of which are not running CSAs or selling at farmer's market, but raising grains and hay for other organic operations.
  from daily pea - discusses the advantages of buying organic food via Community Sponsored Agriculture. When my disability was so bad that no significant gardening was occurring, I found having a CSA indispensable to keeping our vegetable consumption up.
  from How We Flourish - I have found menopause to be a perfect cure, but for those of you with menstrual problems such as cramps, there's several handy natural remedies listed. (BTW, orgasm cures cramps. Just sayin')

Note: if one of these is your site, you can grab an award here.

Best meme I saw this month:

Why be normal?
Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for - in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it - Ellen Goodman